An Interview With Shane Araujo: Sales Process in the Manufacturing Industry

By: Teresa Weirich

December 7, 2018

Shane Araujo, Co-Founder and President

Shane Araujo has been in the manufacturing industry most of his life, and the sales side has always held a special fascination for him.

“Building relationships and establishing personal value is a huge reason why I love sales so much,” Shane said. “If you become friends with your prospects, it becomes doing business with friends, which is amazing. When we started 3BG, I took a management role on the sales side. For a long time, I was the only salesperson and now, since we’re growing, I’m learning so much about managing people and processes.”

At 3BG, Shane implemented the Sandler methodology, which is how the team was introduced to Costello. As a leader of a team of six, Shane uses Costello’s innovative sales playbook solutions to scale processes and ensure success. Manufacturing is a traditionally antiquated industry that moves slowly, which is why having the right processes in place is so important.

We hope you enjoy the following conversation with Shane!

Can you walk me through your business model?

We knew that with the right amount of data and the right tools, we could be a top player in the industry and compete with some of the largest distributors quickly. We collect so much data that it allows us to have amazing processes, which allows our people to focus on delivering the best customer service possible. We truly value customer service above everything else and strive to invest our time and dollars wisely.

How does your team separate itself from the competition?

We have access to product data that is hard to find, which allows us to be a trusted resource in the industry. Having this information readily available makes us a true threat in the manufacturing business. And, of course, once our customers get to know us and work with us, they quickly realize that our people are extremely knowledgeable and are able to help with specific issues.

What is your framework for success, and how do playbooks play a role in the process?

We have a standard script that we use when talking with customers, which allows us to quickly understand what their issue is. Once we identify the issue, we work hard to solve it. We strive to constantly solve customers’ pain to drive value, so we want this framework to be so efficient at uncovering pain that it helps move our customers and our sales processes forward.

In our business, you’re constantly servicing customers or trying to close new business. From a user perspective, playbooks allow us to do everything we need to do and have a clear home base to turn back to. Working from a playbook is almost like cleansing your palate between tasks. Playbooks help to focus your mind on the task at hand.

From a management perspective, playbooks allow me to successfully coach my team by quickly identifying where the issues are occurring. I can work with my reps to see where and why calls go south, for example, and directly address those issues.

As a team, we’re always editing and creating new playbooks, but our most important ones are focused around following up on opportunities, making the first cold call, and running scheduled calls. Playbooks allow reps to quickly take control of a conversation and ensure they’re asking the right questions.

What is some advice you can give sales leaders just starting to build out a sales framework?

Try to identify your sales methodology early on to drive consistency throughout your team. Everyone has their own style, which is great because you want that creativity on a team, but there needs to be some thread of consistency so that you as a leader can coach and manage. Identify common pain points with customers to create a framework for your calls. With this framework, you’ll be able to know exactly what questions to ask to drive conversations further.

What are some trends you’re seeing in the manufacturing industry in general?

Since manufacturing is such a slow-moving industry, people still like doing business with individuals they trust. So many people today rely on their personality to move them forward through a sales cycle, but it has to be more than that. Salespeople need to build trusting relationships with customers. I find the best way to do this is to be consistent all around. You don’t always have to have the fastest delivery, but as long as your customers know you’re trustworthy and consistent, you’re okay. The quality of service is so varied in the manufacturing industry that the best salespeople are the ones who figure out how to be a rock and trusted resource for customers.

Do you have any resources you can recommend?

I’ll always recommend any Sandler method content, but I’m not a huge fan of relying heavily on sales and business books. They’re great from an education standpoint, but for real education, I like to suggest you find people who you look up to. Connect with them, emulate them, and engage on a more personal level.

Surround yourself with great inspiration, mentors, and local leaders to see how they make decisions and how they lead. Then, add elements of their success to your own methodology.

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    Teresa Weirich

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